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Train a Backpack Medic for Burma

Item # 32208

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Help train a mobile health worker to serve isolated communities in need.

Donations to train a backpack medic for Burma will be matched up to $10,000

The ethnic minorities along the Thai-Burma border suffer limited health care and a health status among the world's worst. Dr. Cynthia's Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand, trains health workers who will then trek through the jungle with literally only the supplies they can carry, in a mission to bring health care to the most isolated communities in eastern Burma. Several have been killed during the trek, either by landmines or government military.

Your donation through this Gift That Gives More™ trains a "backpack medic" at Dr. Cynthia's clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand.

Update from the Field


August 2017

Donors like you helped a total of 76 medics (40 male, 36 female) complete their Medic training program in 2016. Another batch of 42 students (22 male, 20 female) has commenced theory and practical Medic at MTC early February 2017. They are expected to finish in December of this year. The Medic program includes 3 months of practical sessions. After completion of the internship program, the graduate medics are able to perform in clinical management on different health facility levels. After graduation, the Medics continue to work at MTC, will work at Pa Hite Clinics or return to their ethnic villages to serve their communities in Karen, Kayah, Kayan, Kachin, Pa O and Rakhine ethnic areas.

One patient who has been helped by this program is named Chit Tha Mi (pictured right with her mother) . She is a one-year old girl and was admitted with enlarged lymph nodes. She has been at the clinic for two weeks now awaiting a diagnosis. She was also anemic when admitted and was given a blood transfusion.The family comes from Mon State but have been living in Myawaddy the last five years, having come in search of jobs. The last few years have been unstable for the family as they have moved around a lot in search of employment. Their situation is precarious and sometimes they barely have enough to get through the day.The two older daughters have been in and out of school due to unaffordable costs as well as their nomadic existence. They had been to the Myawaddy Hospital, a state-run institution, but the care was sub par. The mother explained that the staff at the hospital discriminates against poor people; those who could pay had much better treatment. She likes MTC; it’s hygienic, there are clean facilities to wash up, the floors are cleaned on a regular basis, which means she and her older daughter can share a mat on the floor below the baby’s bed. The food is good and sufficient; the medical staff is kind and attentive. She feels safe and looked after. She is grateful that this care is not just good but also free of charge; she would not have been able to afford to pay.

March 2017

Naw Yel Paw is 31 years and lives in Eh Mor Del village with her husband and her two children. Currently, she works at Pa Hite Clinic in the position of clinical supervisor. She joined Pa Hite Clinic when she realized that “health workers are lacking because many people are still illiterate. Our community requires health care to save them from health problems, therefore I decided to help my people this way.” In 2006 she got an opportunity to attend CHW training and in 2009 she completed Health Assistance (HA) training. Currently, she has almost 12 years of experience at Pa Hite clinic. “Within my 12 years of experience, I have faced so many challenges with political issues, community behavior, mountainous obstacles, and communication that reflect the limits of health care access to the public in this area.” Naw Yel Paw is a proactive and responsive staff member whenever activities are conducted. She said that “I can not imagine the future, but If Pa Hite clinic still exists, I will be the same. Helping my community.” Naw Yel Paw says that she is satisfied with the skills she can share with her community.


Mae Tao Clinic, founded by Dr. Cynthia Maung in 1988 to serve the flood of displaced Burmese people surging across the border into Thailand, has served tens of thousands of Burmese refugees living in the border region of Mae Sot, Thailand. In November 2007, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy named Dr. Cynthia Maung as the winner of the 2007 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award.

Community Partners International is dedicated to serving the most vulnerable people in Burma/Myanmar's remote villages, underserved central areas and conflict-affected border regions where there is little to no access to health care or public health education. Our global network has partnered with more than 60 local organizations, including the Mae Tao Clinic, collaborating on community-based health projects and providing health skills training, resources, and technical support.

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